This was a tough one.
Jarvis Varnado was on the board. Devin Ebanks was on the board. Greivis Vasquez, Stanley Robinson, Darrington Hobson, Trevor Booker, Gani Lawal, Tiny Gallon … all on the board … and obviously Magnum Rolle, Dexter Pittman, Samardo Samuels and Derrick Caracter too.
So who did I take?
(BTW, you can see who was already gone by checking the TrueHoop Network Mock Draft listed at the bottom of this linked post.)
Craig Brackins, the 6’10″ (6’8.5″ without shoes), 230 lbs. big man from Iowa State.
Truth About It.net’s Adam McGinnis covered Brackins with a profile when he worked out for the Wizards on June 15th.
Okay, so Brackins isn’t exactly what the Wizards need … a big man who can score both inside and out, but usually prefers to stay out (he’s got 3-point range), and isn’t known to be the best defender. The Wizards already have Andray Blatche, do they really need another stretch four?
On the other hand, Brackins is a talent in the “best player available” sense, not to mention that the Wizards need all the help they can get down low. ESPN.com’s Chad Ford ranks Brackins as his 21st prospect overall and has him going to the San Antonio Spurs with the 20th pick in version 6.1 of his Mock Draft.
“A number of GMs have told me he could end up being the sleeper of the draft,” writes Ford.
Getting Brackins at 30 sounds like a steal, right?
On the other hand, John Hollinger’s much vaunted draft rater pegs Brackins as a PER dud, along with Solomon Alabi, Patrick Patterson, Ekpe Udoh, Ed Davis and Hassan Whiteside.
Okay, so what do the “experts” know?
In the end, Brackins stood out a little more than those other available guys and I wanted to nab a big of his skill set, knowing there would likely be wings or other specialized bigs available at 35.
He has a decent vertical, 35 inches on the max vert, which ranked 5th among guys 6’8″ (without shoes) and taller in Chicago. Brackins also has big hands, his 9.5 inch hand length ties Udoh and Al-Farouq Aminu for third longest at the combine. He has an ‘okay’ 7’0″ wingspan and only 7.9-percent body fat.
Brackins runs the floor well, he’s versatile … and hey, stretch fours would go well with John Wall. But to realize his potential which was once looked upon as reaching lottery pick levels, Brackins needs to get stronger and know how to make his presence known in the paint on both ends of the floor … instead of patrolling the exterior with fadeaway jumpers.
Brackins has been compared to Jason Thompson/LaMarcus Aldridge (by NBADraft.net), to Robert Horry (by Kansas coach Bill Self), to Channing Frye (by Draft Express), and “somewhere between Charlie Villanueva and Rashard Lewis” (by Mike DeCourcy). Feel free to throw any other comparisons around … Danny Manning, David West, Shareef Abur-Rahim, etc. In any case …